Seeing what is, what we actually have. Versus what we would like to have or what we would like to think we have. What there actually is.
This is the invitation I am finding all over the place these days. People inviting us into a conversation about what actually it is we have, and whether that is what we want. I also find that what look like different conversations might actually be about different dimensions of the same conversation. I will use four examples to highlight what I am seeing, and I will use the 4-step Harmonic Vibrancy Move process to frame the conversation.
The first step of the HVMove process is to see if we experience a gap, a gap between where we are or what we have and where we want to be or what we want to have. The chorus seems to be singing that there is something better available to us. Whether we talk about being disengaged, large systems change, income disparities, impact resilience, or efficiency gains, many people are clear that we are not experiencing the abundance that is available to us.
The second step of the HVMove process is to see what agreements look like where people are having the experience we want to have. I have shared many examples of the kinds of positive deviance in agreements, experience, and impact resilience we are finding through our Global Initiative to Map Ecosynomic Deviance and Impact Resilience. Agreements that support the full, unique creative contribution of everyone involved.
The third step of the HVMove process is to see what our current agreements look like, in comparison to the desired agreements seen in the second step. Here I have recently found a four-part harmony giving voice to different dimensions of our current reality, each highlighting both the economics of abundance and the dimensions of our current reality that bring out the scarcity. In the agreements evidence map, I refer to these four dimensions as the economic, political, cultural, and social lenses on the human experience.
- From the economic lens, with the question of “how much is there,” “we will be able to provide goods and services, once reserved for the wealthy few, to any and all who need them. Or desire them. Abundance for all is actually within our grasp” (Diamandis and Kotler, 2012, Abundance, 9).
- From the political lens, with the question of “who decides,” “we can scrap a failing system and go for plenitude, a new route to wealth based on respect for people and the planet” (Schor, 2010, Plenitude, 23).
- From the cultural lens, with the question of “what criteria,” we see “why communities fail to live up to their potential–why they suffer scarcity when they could enjoy abundance. Inequality prevents abundance. It does so by denying access to members of certain groups. Four major social inequalities are involved–classism, nationalism, sexism and racism” (Dugger and Peach, 2009, Economic Abundance, 79).
- From the social lens, with the question of “how we interact,” “human beings have limited wants and needs, but capitalist institutions seek to continuously generate new forms of scarcity by creating ever new needs…these scarcity-generating institutions…narrow our choices about how to fulfill our needs and wants” (Hoeschele, 2010, The Economics of Abundance, 1&12).
The fourth step of the HVMove process is to see what to change in our fundamental assumptions and our agreements around the structures and processes that guide our interactions. Much of the conversation I find today tends to focus on how to deal with the existing scarcity-based systems or how to reject them. Through the Global Initiative, we have also found thousands of examples of positive ecosynomic deviants, people who are figuring out a different response. Starting from an assumption of abundance, not scarcity, they are designing whole systems based on creative human beings who interact with each other in very creative ways, achieving much greater engagement, efficiency, effectiveness, innovation, impact, and resilience. We are trying to figure out what they are figuring out and share that with everyone else who wants that–who wants to live from abundance, every day everywhere.